The start of the apple harvest season has kicked off in BC, which means it’s a perfect time to celebrate the apple. Not only are they a healthy addition to any school lunch bag, but they’re also great for cooking with.
Our Apple Cheddar Crisp recipe combines apples with that other lunch bag favorite, cheddar cheese. The pairing works wonderfully, with many tastes and textures coming together in one dish: The sweetness of the apples and brown sugar, the crunch of nuts and oats, the warming Fall spices (cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg) and the savoury contribution of shredded cheddar. Served warm in a bowl with a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream on top, it makes for a lovely end to a weekend meal.
If you want to pack apple slices in a lunchbox instead of a whole apple, you can delay apple slices from turning brown by dipping them in a bath of water and lemon juice. We find a ratio of about 1 cup of water to 1 to 2 teaspoons of lemon juice is enough to keep apples looking fresh from morning until noon. In this case, bottled lemon juice works just fine, and saves you having to cut and squeeze a whole lemon for only one small task.
Apple Cheddar Crisp
1 ¼ cups (300 mL) old-fashioned or quick-cooking rolled oats
1 cup (250 mL) packed golden brown sugar
¾ cup (175 mL) flour
½ tsp. (2 mL) cinnamon
¼ tsp. (1 mL) salt
¾ cup (175 mL) butter, chilled and cubed
½ cup (125 mL) chopped walnuts or pecans
8 cups (2 L) sliced peeled apples
½ cup (125 mL) sugar
½ cup (125 mL) shredded cheddar cheese
1 Tbsp. (15 mL) fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp. (15 mL) flour
¾ tsp. (3 mL) cinnamon
¼ tsp. (1 mL) ginger
1/8 tsp. (0.5 mL) nutmeg
Ice cream (optional)
To prepare crumb topping, combine oats, brown sugar, ¾ cup (175 mL) flour, ½ tsp. (2 mL) cinnamon and salt in a bowl. Using fingertips, rub in butter until mixture is crumbly. Stir in walnuts. Combine next eight ingredients (apples through nutmeg). Spoon into a greased, 3-quart (3 L) baking dish. Sprinkle with crumb topping. Bake at 350 Degrees F (180 Degrees C) for 50 to 55 minutes or until juices are thick and bubbly and topping is golden brown. Serve warm with ice cream. Serves 8.
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